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Easy Pillowcases

Every Christmas I make pillowcases for my grandchildren. It started out as just a fun gift one year and then turned into a tradition they kind of expect! Most the time they are given as is, but on occasion they will get it with a brand-new pillow inside and they love receiving them as much as I love making them. I try to match a pillowcase to their interests, so I have made pillowcases with footballs, unicorns, sports teams, pirates, etc. and I have so much fun finding just the perfect fabric.

This year I was shopping at my local quilt store, Fiddlesticks Quilt Shop, and found an adorable snowman print and decided all the pillowcases would be the same this year. It was THAT cute. The fabric is from the Merry and Bright collection by Me and My Sister Designs. I fell in love with the snowmen on the white background for the main pillowcase and purchased the green on green polka dot for the cuff. Then I found an adorable candy cane stripe for the cuff insert from the Welcome Winter Collection by Barb Tourtillotte for Henry Glass Fabrics.

So, today, I am going to give you a little tutorial on how I make these easy-peasy pillowcases.

For the pillowcase you will need:

  • ¾ yard of main fabric (snowmen)

  • ¼ yard of cuff material (green on green polka dot)

  • 2 inches by width of fabric (WOF) of cuff insert fabric

  • thread

Step 1.

Start by ironing all your fabric pieces. I like my fabric to be nice and smooth before I start cutting it.

Step 2.

Remove the selvage edges from all the fabric pieces.

Step 3.

Fold the cuff insert strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press.

Step 4.

Lay out your main fabric piece with the long edge facing you, right side up. Layer the folded insert piece on top of the main fabric matching up raw edges (44” side). Layer the cuff fabric on top of the insert strip and pin all three layers together. * Depending on the fabric manufacturer, all your pieces might not measure 44” exactly. If necessary, you can trim all fabrics to the same width at this point.

Oops! You can tell that the fabrics aren’t flat and smooth in this picture! I ironed them the night before and then had to fold and stack them until later. The important thing is to have them nice and smooth before cutting, which is what I did. : )

Step 5.

Sew all three pieces together using a ¼” seam. Press cuff out with seams toward the cuff.

Once all pieces are stitched together, I set my seams by pressing for a few seconds, then I can open the fabric and press flat.

Once you’ve pressed the green fabric out, iron the insert strip piece towards the main pillowcase fabric. I had to go back and redo that step!

Step 6.

Press the raw edge of the cuff piece under ½” toward the wrong side of the cuff fabric. Fold cuff over and cover the raw edges of the seam. Pin.

I love to use a Clover Hot Ruler for this step. You can fold your fabric up to the exact ½” measurement and iron right on the ruler. It makes this step fast and accurate!

Once you have pressed the raw edge of the cuff ½” to the wrong side of the cuff fabric, fold your cuff over to cover the seam and pin.

Make sure you cover the seam completely.

Step 7.

On the right side of the cuff, topstitch 1/8” on the cuff edge towards the insert, stitching through all layers.

Looks like I need to clean some fuzz off my needle shaft!

Step 8.

At this point, if you have a serger, you can serge all the raw edges and finish the pillowcase. If you do not have a serger, fold the pillowcase with wrong sides together and stitch 1/8” seam down the short and long sides of the pillowcase.

Stitching the 1/8”

Step 9.

Turn the pillowcase wrong side out. I like to use a stiletto to gently poke the corners out as square as I can get them. Then I like to iron the seams flat so that they are nice and crisp.

This adorable stiletto was designed by Bev McCullough of Flamingo Toes.

I LOVE these crisp edges.

Step 9.

After ironing seams flat, go back to the sewing machine and stitch ¼” seam around the short and long sides and turn right side out again. This will give you a finished French seam on the inside of the pillowcase so there is no raw edge and no fraying after it is washed.

Stitch a ¼” seam on the short and long side of the pillowcase.

Step 10.

Turn pillowcase right side out and iron seams flat.

On the inside the pillowcase, you now have French seams - no raw edges = no fraying!

Now you have a beautifully finished pillowcase to gift or keep for yourself!

© Please leave me comments if you would love to see more tutorials!

Until next time,

Mama J

P.S. Just in case you are wondering who those lucky grandchildren are . . .

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